Sunday, 11 October 2015

Learning New Words at the Fête des Vendanges

With happy memories of last year's Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, (even if the vine I bought in a pot turned into a dead stump rather than the beginnings of my own personal vineyard), I was looking forward to this year's. I'm not sure how "authentic" the event really is, but given that it's an opportunity to sample wine, cheese and saucisson in one of my favourite parts of Paris (with the added bonus the past 2 years of some gorgeous early-autumn sunshine), I'm not sure I really care.

Understanding Frenchman and I started off with a glass of St Emilion and a glass of Lalande de Pomerol, which we drank on the steps of the church. (Somehow in France this doesn't seem too sacrilegious!) Deciding that the wine was too heavy to be drunk on its own, UFM went off to find some saucisson to accompany it. Unfortunately, we didn't have a knife, so we had to peel off the skin and just bite into it, which wasn't very elegant, but it still tasted good.

After that, we set off for a wander around the rest of the fair, which turned into a bit of a vocabulary lesson for yours truly:

"Tartempion" means a person who's name you can't remember, normally because you haven't bothered to make the effort because you don't care that much.

I asked UFM to explain the names of some of these drinks to me and they were so rude that he translated them into English instead of explaining in French. When I pointed out to him that we were surrounded by American tourists, so this wasn't exactly the height of discretion, he replied, "I know - I did it because they're more likely to be shocked than French people!"

I made a point of turning up to the Fête this year with an empty stomach, because everywhere you go, there are delicious things to eat being produced in vast quantities. There was giant tartiflette:

Giant barbecue:

And, for less subtle wordplay than the bottles in the second photo:

I was determined to have something I was unlikely to eat elsewhere and finally settled on a sandwich buttered with foie gras, filled with magret de canard and sprinkled with sel de Guérande.

By this point the fair was starting to get really busy and it was hard to wander around any more, so we strolled back through the quiet streets of the 9th to the metro and went home to have grated carrots for dinner!


  1. This tartiflette looks... massive.

    I haven't heard the word "Tartempion" in ages. I think it was used in Tintin... there was a joke with it somewhere... but it's dated.

  2. Tartempion is the best word that I have ever heard! I love that the French people have a word for this!

  3. That sandwich sounds heavenly.

    I had fun looking up some of those words, since you are discreet and didn't translate them for us.

    1. This is a family-friendly blog. Explicit content only for those with good dictionary skills ;-)